Product design involves creating a functional and aesthetic product based on user requirements, market analysis, and overall business strategy. It involves many multi-step processes. This step-by-step guide will help you understand the entire process of product design.
The design process starts with identifying the problem and concerns that need to be addressed.
Process of Product Design
The process of product design may seem complicated, with multiple roles and deadlines that need to be met. However, it’s easy to manage and has a lot of learning points along the way. This process considers the various aspects of product design that must be expanded and combined to guarantee a cohesive product.
Product design requires several steps and various approaches that can be followed depending on the product’s function and business goals.
A product designer must deeply understand their field to design an effective solution. For this reason, many companies set up a design process that provides excellent detail of designers’ steps to conceive their products. From interviewing customers to projecting financials, here are the steps.
Steps of the Product Design
Step 1: Brainstorming
Brainstorming is the beginning of the process and is more likely to happen during the idea generation phase. It is where the product owner, project manager, and designers come together to create a list of ideas for the product. The list can be classified into different groups, defined by criteria. Some factors are used to determine which idea is feasible and which ones aren’t worth pursuing.
Three phases go into brainstorming:
- Problem Definition. You must define the problem (i.e., the need to create the “right” product design) and select participants.
- Idea generation. Participants of the brainstorming share their creative ideas.
- Selection of the most viable ideas. The most feasible ideas from the various ideas shared by the participants are selected.
Step 2: Defining the Product
After brainstorming and choosing all viable ideas for the product, you need to highlight several requirements for its implementation. Knowing what your product will do is essential before you start designing it. This will help you determine the product’s general shape, size, and functionality. It will also help you develop a marketing plan to target the right market.
Step 3. User Research
The next step of product design is conducting research. This involves market research to define the competitors, interviewing other designers, and conducting a survey on market trends. The task of user research is solely for marketers and business analysts.
The results of this research provides good reasons to create so-called customer portraits. These portraits would give the team a better idea of what the end product should be. A good portrait includes parameters like gender, marital status, age, income level, place of residence, and so on.
Step 4: Sketching
After surveying the current trends in the industry, it is time to develop sketches and cardboard models of the products. Create sketches of different views of the product. These sketches should include the dimension of the product, views of its interior, and the perimeters of the components. These designs should be tested to improve and upgrade the overall design.
Step 5: Prototyping
The prototype allows testers to evaluate your product, giving you an idea of their thoughts. It helps to determine if your idea will meet the needs of your target audience. In more technical designs, those rejecting a structure can provide feedback and help you improve the final product. Prototypes allow you to experiment, iterating on your design until you find a plan that is both aesthetically pleasing and usable.
Step 6: Specifications
A list of specifications allows for reviewing all the requirements and possible solutions for the finished product. These specifications should include the final delimitation of responsibilities, deadlines, and costs.
Step 7: Samples Production
The manufacture of pre-production samples will make you understand if a product would be viable and attractive to actual users. It gives you a sense of how efficient the varying manufacturing departments are in finishing production accurately.
Step 8: Sample Testing
Test samples allow you to find flaws or inconsistencies quickly before beginning the implementation process. Testing takes place after the design is completed and a set of samples is produced to ensure the quality of the product. Testing can be carried out as often as needed until the product corresponds to all requirements.
Step 9: Development and Mass production
Mass product production commences after samples have been adjusted to meet all requirements. The manufacturing process is relatively straightforward with clearly defined requirements, tasks, responsibilities, deadlines, and budgets.
Break down the major tasks into smaller subtasks (so their implementation doesn’t take up many weeks) and assign priority.
Step 10: Quality Assurance
The final product will go through a quality control protocol that is designed to ensure flawlessness and success. Quality assurance starts with manufacturing and continues to the distributor carrying the product to the customer. It covers all stages of product development, release, and further maintenance. The aim is to ensure the quality of the finished product.
Designing a product is an iterative and multi-stage process. It begins with brainstorming, defining the product, through prototyping, testing, and production. The process also entails the marketing and sales of the product and public relations involved in making a product successful in the marketplace.
A finished product must meet the requirements of its target customers. If a product fails to pass the testing stage, designers and their team continue to revise designs until the desired outcome is met.
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